Calculate your risk of COVID exposure from attending Thanksgiving gatherings with this online tool

CLEVELAND (WJW) — Vaccinated Americans have been given the green light to celebrate Thanksgiving with friends and family in person this year, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a chance of being exposed to COVID-19.

An online tool made by researchers at Georgia Institute of Technology allows people to assess the likelihood of someone at their gathering having COVID-19, depending on location and size.

Named the COVID-19 Event Risk Assessment Planning Tool, the site offers a user-friendly interactive map broken down by county. A sliding range allows users to change the size of the expected gathering and see the corresponding changes in the risk map for the United States. Users can hover over their home counties to see the local risk, based on gathering size.


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Using Cleveland’s Cuyahoga County as an example, the data showed there was about a 31% chance someone has COVID at a Thanksgiving gathering of 20. And with 50 people in a space, that chance went up to 60%. As of Tuesday, a gathering of 20 in San Francisco County carried a 7% risk, but a 50-person party carried a 16% risk.

This interactive county-by-county map of the U.S. made by Georgia Tech scientists and researchers shows the risk of attending an event with someone actively infected with Covid-19. | https://t.co/ntfTNjrttJ pic.twitter.com/M8fzjSNnKP

— Georgia Tech (@GeorgiaTech) July 8, 2020

For the U.S. figures, researchers say they used data from sources including the COVID Tracking Project, the New York Times COVID Project, Census figures and CDC vaccination rate information. The tool was first rolled out last year in advance of our first pandemic Thanksgiving.

As of Tuesday, the map showed some of the highest risk areas for larger gatherings across the upper midwest as well as desert southwest.

Use the calculator below to see the risk of gathering where you live or click here to open it in a new window.

Holiday revelers are reminded that the best way to stave off the spread of coronavirus is to get fully vaccinated, wear masks and stay socially distant when gathering.

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